Key Questions and Answers About Problems with Manufactured Homes
If I have a problem with my home, whom do I contact?
First, contact your retailer. Then follow up with a written list of problems to the retailer, manufacturer and installer. You should keep a copy of all correspondence for your personal records. Follow up any correspondence with a call to the retailer and/or manufacturer to discuss your problems and schedule a service appointment. If your home is not repaired within a reasonable time period, or if the responsible party refuses to make repairs, you should contact the NC Department of Insurance at (919) 661-5880.
What is involved in the installation of a manufactured home?
- Local zoning, septic, electrical and building permits requirements.
- Site preparation and access to the site.
- Stable soil.
- Proper foundation system, including the anchoring system, that is approved/listed for use in the proper class of soil (this information may be available in the manufacturer's written instructions or obtained from State or local building officials).
- Perimeter enclosure may be either recommended or required.
- Utility hook-ups and dryer vent discharge, as addressed in the installation manual provided with the home.
- Always check with the retailer and State or local building officials concerning the installation of a manufactured home.
Whom do I contact if my home was damaged during installation?
If you contract with a retailer for installation, notify retailer about installation problems. If you choose an installation contractor, notify installer who performed the work. If not satisfied with repair, contact the NC Department of Insurance at (919) 661-5880. Services related to installation of home should be listed separately in contract.
What if I'm having problems with my home and the retailer/manufacturer are out of business?
Contact the NC Department of Insurance at (919) 661-5880.
If I properly cancel a Contract to Purchase and Deposit Agreement, am I entitled to my deposit money being returned by the retailer?
If your cancellation occurs within 3 business days, then all of the deposit money must be returned no later than 15 days after the retail center receives your notice of cancellation. If you cancel outside of the 3-day time frame, but before you sign the retail installment contract, the retail center can keep the portion of your deposit which does not exceed an amount equal to 10% of the home's purchase price. If the retailer had to special order your home from the manufacturer, the retail center may retain the full amount of your deposit, up to the actual damages incurred.
Will instructions be provided with my new manufactured home?
Yes. Each new manufactured home comes complete with manuals that provide information about the operation, maintenance and repair of your home, including the manufacturer's recommended procedures for installation, anchoring and connection to on-site utilities.
Will I receive a manufacturer's warranty with my new home?
Most manufacturers offer a warranty that covers the performance of the structure and factory-installed plumbing, heating and electrical systems during a specified warranty period. Also, some factory-installed appliances and certain building components are covered by their own warranties. Ask your retailer for details. Manufacturers are not responsible for failures that occur as a result of normal wear and tear, consumer abuse, installation, or neglect of maintenance. NC law does require some warranties.
Are manufactured homes maintenance-free?
No. The homeowner's manual, which accompanies every new home, explains proper maintenance requirements.
May I make repairs to the home myself?
Yes, but consult with retailer or manufacturer concerning repairs that will affect the warranty.
May I construct an addition to my home or make structural changes to the interior?
Any significant change, such as an addition or structural alteration, may require local permits and could take the home out of compliance with the HUD Code. Consult with the appropriate state, county, local authorities, or NC Department of Insurance before acting. Manufacturer is not liable for damages/problems caused by the added structures/alterations. Such changes could affect your warranty.
Do I have to enclose the area underneath my home?
Some manufacturers require some type of perimeter enclosure and/or a ground vapor retarding. Local, state and community authorities may be able to advise you regarding these requirements. Enclosure material should be resistant to decay and is usually installed by either the retailer or installer. Perimeter enclosure, when properly installed with adequate ventilation, improves energy performance and helps protects home from weather. If you do not install enclosure material, check manufacturer's warranty to determine if this will affect coverage.
What is HUD's role in the manufactured housing industry?
By law, HUD is responsible for oversight of the Federal Manufactured Housing Program. Under HUD regulations, homes are required to be inspected at one stage of production by an inspection agency approved by HUD. In addition, manufacturer has an approved quality control program in place throughout the production process. A HUD label is applied to each home section, by the manufacturer, to indicate that it is in compliance with the HUD Code. Additionally, Subpart I of the Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations (24CFR 3282.401-416) dictates certain procedures the manufacturer/retailer must follow should they become aware of a problem with a home after it has been shipped from the manufacturing facility.
As the owner of a manufactured home, does Federal law provide me with any other rights?
Yes. Federal law requires manufacturers to notify the original purchaser and subsequent purchasers whose names and addresses are known, of performance and safety related defects that are discovered by the manufacturer. Manufacturer may be required to correct these defects if they create an unreasonable risk of injury or death or are related to design or assembly errors. Retailer who sells a manufactured home is required to register with the manufacturer the information necessary to provide such notification of defect.